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Excitement mounts as Halloween nears


Halloween not only brings fun for children, it's also a popular holiday among adults too. Find out how people around the world plan to celebrate during the Halloween holidays this year.

The start of October means that Halloween is around the corner. Irish and Scottish immigrants first introduced Halloween to North America in the early 1800s and with over 200 years of history, it has evolved to be one of the most popular holidays in America.

Celebrated on the 31st of October every year, Halloween has a close association with All Souls’ Day, observed on November 2nd, or November 3rd if the 2nd is a Sunday. All Souls’ Day presents an opportunity for Roman Catholics and Anglo-Catholic churches to commemorate those who have passed away.

The 3 days spanning from October 31st to November 2nd have been given the name Hallow Tide. As a major folk holiday in the US, there are many traditions surrounding the Halloween season. For instance, Trick-or-treating is a famous tradition where children go door to door collecting candy and other treats.  Carving Jack-o’-Lanterns is another family tradition consisting of carving pumpkins to use as lanterns often placed on the doorstep. The tradition of carving vegetables began with carving turnips, not pumpkins! These turnips were carved into lanterns to remember the souls held in purgatory, and by the mid to late 19th century have been commonly replaced with pumpkins, which can be harvested during early fall.

The festivities centred on Halloween also pave the way for companies to monetise the seasonal event.  Innovative products and services prove a “treat” for those willing to gear up with the latest Halloween paraphernalia. Some of the latest fads include temporary ghoulish tattoos using seasonal inking, dressing dogs up in canine couture, apps capable of morphing portrait photos  into horror characters and Nike’s “dunk high premium” kicks just to name a few. A direct consequence of this is the significant revenue generated from this seasonal event – which appears to be increasing year on year.

Mischief has also become a synonymous part of Halloween, with males more likely to tell scary stories and play pranks on others.  And while the popularity of the holiday is evident, 16% of US survey respondents are not planning to get involved in any Halloween activities this year.

According to several surveys, 70% of respondents plan to take part in the celebrations. Popular ways for people to celebrate include visiting haunted attractions, watching scary movies and telling ghost stories as well as going to or hosting a costume party.  Costume parties have become a popular way for adults to celebrate, with 61% of those taking part in Halloween intending to wear a costume. Further, the US survey shows  females are more likely to participate in Halloween than males.